Google warned on Monday that the Australian government’s plan to make digital giants pay for news content threatens users’ free services in Australia.
“A proposed law ... would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia,” Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Mel Silva wrote.
Both Google and Facebook have condemned the proposed legislation, which was released last month.
Australian competition watchdog Rod Sims, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which drafted the laws, said Google’s letter contains misinformation.
“Google will not be required to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google Search and YouTube, unless it chooses to do so,” Sims said in a statement.
Google later said in a statement that free services were at risk in Australia because the draft laws were “unworkable.” Google said it did not intend to charge Australians for those services.